Such a community of unbelievable strength...

Many of you have been asking me to get to the "meat" of this discussion, and I thought a good way for me to do that would be to introduce a fairly simple, intuitive, and well-researched concept in cognitive psychological theory, and discuss how it applies to Scientology's practices. This post is in no way meant to be broad, in fact, it is just a small slice used as an exemplar.

OK. So In a previous post, I mentioned Aaron Beck, widely considered to be the father of cognitive psychology. I was trained in a cognitive-behavioral orientation, but for the purposes of this discussion, I will be limiting things to just the cognitive piece.

Beck proposes that the genesis of some psychological disorders (his work spoke specifically to depression, but these concepts can apply to other psychological constructs as well) stems from what he refers to as a 'cognitive triad'. The triad consists of negative thoughts/beliefs about the self, the world, and others.

When someone has thoughts that fall into these three clusters, they can produce depression; depression can be characterized as a cluster of symptoms that cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. These may include (to varying degrees, and to be depressed, you need not have all of them--you can refer to the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for further clarification) the following: significant increase/decrease in sleep, anhedonia, guilt, significant decrease in energy, poor/decreased concentration, appetite changes (significantly increased or decreased), psychomotor agitiation, and suicidal thoughts.

From what I have read, Scientology encourages thoughts/beliefs in all three of these clusters, and I have given some brief examples below:

1) Negative thoughts/beliefs about self:

"If I'm not improving/getting wins/FN'ing/etc., it's all my fault",
"I must have done something wrong to cause these bad things to happen"
"If I'm not promoting Scientology/getting recruits/giving enough money, I'm not doing what I need to do/I'm not good enough/I'm a disappointment"

2. Negative thoughts/beliefs about the world:

"The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and the world (if it is not Scientology-based) will surely be doomed".
"The world (outside the realm of Scientology) cannot be trusted".
"The only way for the world to get better is to get everyone on board with Scientology, otherwise there is no hope"

3. Negative thoughts/beliefs about others:

"Anyone who doesn't believe what I do is an enemy"
"Even my family members must be disconnected from, because they do not share my beliefs, and they are toxic to me"
"Non-scientologists are out to get me (us), because they have an evil agenda"

Obviously, I'm taking some liberty with these statements, having never been a Scientologist myself, but based on my readings, these seem like plausible thoughts/beliefs.

I will pick up again later. There are many, many more facets to this, but I think this is a decent starting place.
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
Your quoted beliefs of Scientologists are spot-on, FOE.

Almost every Scientologist is given these thoughts and beliefs by their relationship to the group and the rules set up for them to live by.

Scientology actively implants these beliefs in their followers through policy, tech and ethics, and the artificial culture it sets up.
 

Good twin

Floater
FOE!!! Thank you for coming back. I thought you gave up on us because of our misbehavior before.

Would it be possible for you to get a grant to study us? That would be cool IMO. Maybe some wouldn't like it, but it might be useful to prevent cult brainwashing in others.

Anyway, as Alanzo said.....the stuff you wrote about how we learned to view ourselves the world and others...true. Exactly true. Not a stretch. Not an exaggeration. Just true.

Please continue.
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
FOE you've got a great understanding of it so far. Thanks for the perspective on how that kind of thinking influences depression. You are right that what you said is intuitive. It's a great place to start because it makes total sense.

What I find interesting about the depression discussion is that while I was in I didn't feel depressed. I felt strong and smart and able to make a difference (albeit better than everyone else); it might have been a false beingness, but it was how I felt. It wasn't until the end, when things weren't going well, and then after I got out that I began to fight the depression, and to slowly try to rebuild those 3 points of the triangle that you mentioned.

It's interesting because I see a lot of the discussion here revolving around "rehabilitating" confidence in self, others and the world. What you said makes sense. I'm ready for more.

:)TL
 

programmer_guy

True Ex-Scientologist
Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your patience. I got back in town earlier this week, and have been playing catch up since. I did have limited internet access while I was gone, but not enough time to post thoughtful replies or commentary. I want the posts I make here to be thoughtful, and not just off the cuff, so I decided to wait until things settled out a bit.

I noticed that there had been a reply in the thread asking about my credentials and what I do. I thank that person for asking, and think its an extremely fair question; after all, why should anyone be inclined to believe information disseminated by an unverified source? For reasons I feel are likely to be obvious to people who post and read here, I am reluctant to post any information that could personally identify me. I'll post what I feel I reasonably can. However, if this is a question that people feel needs to be answered in more detail, I suppose I'd be willing to give my actual credentials to a board moderator (Emma, for example), and allow her to verify them and report back to you, with the caveat that my information stay completely private and anonymous.

Here are the questions that were asked of me:

1. Did you complete a master's or doctorate in this field?

Yes. I completed a BA, then an MA and Ph.D. in an APA-approved clinical psychology program, then completed an APA-approved clinical internship, and lastly completed a postdoctoral fellowship.

2. What particular specific part of this field do you specialize in?

This is something I'm not comfortable answering specifically, because of reasons I stated above.

3. What type of job do you now have in this profession?


I work in research as well as doing clinical work, and that's all I'm comfortable saying publicly.

I'm glad to be back, and again, thanks to everyone for being patient!

Thank you for answering. :)

Concerning item #2, your prior statement about "cognitive" is good enough for me for now.

Please continue...
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
I'm wondering, now that some of these Scientology-installed "thought habits" have been identified, does Cognitive Therapy have any processes/practices/skillsets that can be used to identify more of these thought habits and change them into something more constructive?
 
Last edited:
Hi everyone!

I'm glad that what I've said so far seems to make sense, and that my perceptions of the kind of thoughts/beliefs that Scientology instills were accurate.

A few people have asked me questions that I want to address briefly. In different parts of this thread, I've been asked for references to materials that people are interested in, and I've also been asked what the strategies/techniques used in psychology are to change attitudes/thought patterns/beliefs. I am more than happy to give information and resources for both of those things, but I'd prefer to leave those discussions until the end so that I can give them all in one place, rather than piecemeal.

Also, I think it at this point it probably bears saying that because I am bound by an ethical code of conduct, I cannot give any advice or recommendations here that could be construed as treatment or therapy; nor can I render any diagnoses, if someone were to ask me. My profession dictates that the only way I can do those things is if there is a client-provider relationship that has been entered into, so here I am limited to giving general opinions and providing information.

I will try to get back to this thread again later today; next I think it might be interesting to discuss another couple of psychological principles, and the way that Scientology applies them, much as I did with the cognitive triad.
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
Interesting wikipedia link:

"Beck also included a negative triad in his theory. A negative triad is made up of the negative schemas and cognitive biases of the person. A cognitive bias is a view of the world. Depressed people, according to this theory, have views such as “I never do a good job.” A negative schema helps give rise to the cognitive bias, and the cognitive bias helps fuel the negative schema. This is the negative triad. Also, Beck proposed that depressed people often have the following cognitive biases: arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization, magnification and minimization. These cognitive biases are quick to make negative, generalized, and personal inferences of the self, thus fueling the negative schema.[5]..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_therapy
 
Alanzo,

You're already one step ahead of me! :D

I wanted to talk in particular about these things you mentioned: arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization, magnification and minimization. There's also a couple more things included in that list that aren't mentioned, like fortune-telling (not the kind you're probably thinking of :) ), that I plan to discuss as well.

I can't write the whole post right now, but that's where I'm going...
 

rich

Silver Meritorious Patron
Hi everyone!


Also, I think it at this point it probably bears saying that because I am bound by an ethical code of conduct, I cannot give any advice or recommendations here that could be construed as treatment or therapy; nor can I render any diagnoses, if someone were to ask me. My profession dictates that the only way I can do those things is if there is a client-provider relationship that has been entered into,

Do your clients have to sign anything?
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
Alanzo,

You're already one step ahead of me! :D

I wanted to talk in particular about these things you mentioned: arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization, magnification and minimization. There's also a couple more things included in that list that aren't mentioned, like fortune-telling (not the kind you're probably thinking of :) ), that I plan to discuss as well.

I can't write the whole post right now, but that's where I'm going...

Scientologists like these things in neat little lists, so they can look them up and demonstrate these concepts for themselves for application to their own lives, and to improve the lives of others.

So I'll do that for us in preparation for your next post:

Arbitrary inference
Selective abstraction
Overgeneralization
Magnification and minimization
Fortune-telling

Google and Dictionaries, everyone!

Demo kits out!

For those of you who have clay, Start your Clay Demos NOW!
 
Last edited:

scooter

Gold Meritorious Patron
....

From what I have read, Scientology encourages thoughts/beliefs in all three of these clusters, and I have given some brief examples below:

1) Negative thoughts/beliefs about self:

"If I'm not improving/getting wins/FN'ing/etc., it's all my fault",
"I must have done something wrong to cause these bad things to happen"
"If I'm not promoting Scientology/getting recruits/giving enough money, I'm not doing what I need to do/I'm not good enough/I'm a disappointment"

2. Negative thoughts/beliefs about the world:

"The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and the world (if it is not Scientology-based) will surely be doomed".
"The world (outside the realm of Scientology) cannot be trusted".
"The only way for the world to get better is to get everyone on board with Scientology, otherwise there is no hope"

3. Negative thoughts/beliefs about others:

"Anyone who doesn't believe what I do is an enemy"
"Even my family members must be disconnected from, because they do not share my beliefs, and they are toxic to me"
"Non-scientologists are out to get me (us), because they have an evil agenda"

Obviously, I'm taking some liberty with these statements, having never been a Scientologist myself, but based on my readings, these seem like plausible thoughts/beliefs.

I will pick up again later. There are many, many more facets to this, but I think this is a decent starting place.

Spot-on, FOE :thumbsup:

This is exactly the mind-set that I and almost every other cultie that I knew fell into.

Can't wait for your next post :drama: :)
 

Carmel

Crusader
<snip>
From what I have read, Scientology encourages thoughts/beliefs in all three of these clusters, and I have given some brief examples below:

1) Negative thoughts/beliefs about self:

"If I'm not improving/getting wins/FN'ing/etc., it's all my fault",
"I must have done something wrong to cause these bad things to happen"
"If I'm not promoting Scientology/getting recruits/giving enough money, I'm not doing what I need to do/I'm not good enough/I'm a disappointment"

2. Negative thoughts/beliefs about the world:

"The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and the world (if it is not Scientology-based) will surely be doomed".
"The world (outside the realm of Scientology) cannot be trusted".
"The only way for the world to get better is to get everyone on board with Scientology, otherwise there is no hope"

3. Negative thoughts/beliefs about others:

"Anyone who doesn't believe what I do is an enemy"
"Even my family members must be disconnected from, because they do not share my beliefs, and they are toxic to me"
"Non-scientologists are out to get me (us), because they have an evil agenda"

Obviously, I'm taking some liberty with these statements, having never been a Scientologist myself, but based on my readings, these seem like plausible thoughts/beliefs.

I will pick up again later. There are many, many more facets to this, but I think this is a decent starting place.

Thanks for your input FOE - and yes, the three "clusters" above, are a starting point, and common to many who were within the ranks, but not common to all, as others have acknowledged.

Part of your "cluster" #1, was true for me, but #'s 2 and 3 weren't so. I always had faith in the human race, and faith in the future of the planet - That faith was always more prevalent for me than any negativity I felt, and it's that faith which was the major impetus for me, in persisting with Scn.

In regard to "cluster #1", for me it was more like:

- Why is there water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink?
- Why the fuck is this happening to me?
- How can it be that Scn is kicking me in the gutz, for what it made me in the first place?
- Why do I feel so alone in a group that made me feel like I finally belonged?
- WTF is wrong with them, and wtf is wrong with me?
- I'm fucked which ever way I turn. I don't fit and I don't belong, but somehow I have to learn to - I have no choice.
- I owe it to myself and to others to persist.
- I wish I knew or could figure out what the fuck is going on here.

All pretty fucked in hindsight, but that's how it was for me when I was still in and denying the reality.

It was different for all of us, to varying degrees. Scientology itself wasn't 'one' set of principals, but instead, it was a whole gamut of them - from bad to good.

How Scientology adversely affected us, and how it was of benefit to us, was very much dependant on who we were, where we were at, and on what our dreams and goals were, in the first place.

Whoever, whichever, whatever - it was a wild bloody ride!
 
Last edited:

justaguy

Patron Meritorious
Rich: Yes, I think so. Clients are certainly made to understand that any communication between therapist and client is utterly privileged except in the case of imminent harm to self or others (the client tells the therapist his plans to commit suicide, for example). I personally have had to sign a form so that one counselor I've had can talk to another that I had previously. And there's always a few forms to fill out when you visit someone for the first time, I believe one of them is some sort of acknowledgment of rights. But whether or not the client has to sign, the therapist is bound by the rules.

For a therapist to talk about a client without their permission is a violation of the ethics of the profession. It will lead to the violator losing their license (like any breach of the code of ethics) and could possibly lead to criminal charges. It's the same as disclosing medical records.
 

EP - Ethics Particle

Gold Meritorious Patron
An analogy for FOE..."Dear Alice"...

If I were a university English Literature professor and you were a "post doc" beginning a thesis on the collected works of William Faulkner, I would give you a B+ on your last post (#81).:coolwink:

The subject of Scientology is huge and can't, IMO, be categorized or "put in a box" (or boxes). The study, practice and experience of the subject is profoundly different for each, every and all persons encountering or experiencing it - simply because each person is unique, and thus approaches, rejects, believes, doubts, utilizes, practices and proceeds (or not) in their own peculiar way.

I think Carmel's post above is an excellent example of the differences to which I refer - particularly when juxtaposed with the posting of others such as Alanzo, Feral, scooter, Zinj, and so many others.

What you are attempting here is a potentially herculean task - and insofar as attempting to analyze and/or categorize Scientology...well, my personal advice would be: Don't go there.

Just as a point of reference - I, personally, have far more time, energy, money, study and effort invested/expended in Scientology than in my original university degree and subsequent career in engineering...and I have only "scratched the surface" of Scientology when compared to others such as RogerB, Panda, Alan, Dart, Carmel, GT, TL, LB and others have done. You are truly among scholars, researchers and adventurers here on this forum!

From experience I know full well that researchers and explorers are not easily daunted or dissuaded - and perhaps that is why I love them so completely and unreservedly.

So, my dear, just take care that you do not fall down the "rabbit hole" yourself!

Love,

Mike/EP
 
Last edited:

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
If I were a university English Literature professor and you were a "post doc" beginning a thesis on the collected works of William Faulkner, I would give you a B+ on your last post (#81).:coolwink:

The subject of Scientology is huge and can't, IMO, be categorized or "put in a box" (or boxes). The study, practice and experience of the subject is profoundly different for each, every and all persons encountering or experiencing it - simply because each person is unique, and thus approaches, rejects, believes, doubts, utilizes, practices and proceeds (or not) in their own peculiar way.

I think Carmel's post above is an excellent example of the differences to which I refer - particularly when juxtaposed with the posting of others such as Alanzo, Feral, scooter, Zinj, and so many others.

What you are attempting here is a potentially herculean task - and insofar as attempting to analyze and/or categorize Scientology...well, my personal advice would be: Don't go there.

Just as a point of reference - I, personally, have far more time, energy, money, study and effort invested/expended in Scientology than in my original university degree and subsequent career in engineering...and I have only "scratched the surface" of Scientology when compared to others such as RogerB, Panda, Alan, Dart, Carmel, GT, TL, LB and others have done. You are truly among scholars, researchers and adventurers here on this forum!

From experience I know full well that researchers and explorers are not easily daunted or dissuaded - and perhaps that is why I love them so completely and unreservedly.

So, my dear, just take care that you do not fall down the "rabbit hole" yourself!

Love,

Mike/EP

EP you're awesome! You made a good point that is an important one. . . it is a huge subject and very complicated. And our experiences certainly can't be put into a box -- to see that, all you have to do is read on this forum for a while. There is no way to "categorize" that subject and put labels on it and get a full understanding of wtf happened there.

But with that understanding and that caveat; I still would like for FOE to "go there" simply for this reason: It's a new viewpoint. Maybe another piece to the puzzle. Like the 5 blind men who were examining the elephant; each describing it differently because they were examining a different part, and had different information to work with. (http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/1/?letter=B&spage=3 )

There has been a lot of research done in the field of psychology and I think that hearing how Scientology looks from the outside, and in particular from that viewpoint will be a valuable angle for us to examine as exes. Especially because it's a subject that we had been told to "stay away" from. . . . just seeing what psychology really has to offer (besides being "whole track SP's"), and breaking apart some of those "implanted" preconceived notions about the field, could be very valuable in the healing process.

Personally I am interested in what FOE has to say. I don't plan to blindly agree or anything, and I'm sure that if she steps on any toes she'll be "set straight", :wink2: but heck, I'm all for an adventure.

:)TL
 

EP - Ethics Particle

Gold Meritorious Patron
TL, you are most kind!

EP you're awesome! You made a good point that is an important one. . . it is a huge subject and very complicated. And our experiences certainly can't be put into a box -- to see that, all you have to do is read on this forum for a while. There is no way to "categorize" that subject and put labels on it and get a full understanding of wtf happened there.

But with that understanding and that caveat; I still would like for FOE to "go there" simply for this reason: It's a new viewpoint. Maybe another piece to the puzzle.
Like the 5 blind men who were examining the elephant; each describing it differently because they were examining a different part, and had different information to work with.

...snip...

Personally I am interested in what FOE has to say. I don't plan to blindly agree or anything, and I'm sure that if she steps on any toes she'll be "set straight", :wink2: but heck, I'm all for an adventure.

:)TL

Oh hell, Darlin' - I know she's gonna "go there" and I both applaud and love her for it! :yes: :clap: (I just want her to feel absolutely confident that she is among friends and that there are real pros here to call on should she run into any difficulties along the way.) :)

You are awesome too TL! :flowers:

Found this, below - which is not mine, but could well be - make sense?


Quote (emphasis added):


used to know a Puerto Rican woman who roared when I used to demonstrate my limited command of the Spanish language, defined by the NYC experience. My favorite was the recitation of a sign which appeared in the subway cars for as long as I can remember. I used to just recite two lines:
"La via del tren subterraneo es peligrosa. .... No salga afuera." This warning alerted passengers to many dangers, including the the electrified third rail. See full wording and translation below.

Note: The original sign in its entirety with translation is as follows:
"La via del tren subterraneo es peligrosa. Si el tren se para entre las estaciones, quedese adentro. No salga afuera. Siga los instrucciones de los operadores del tren o la policia."
"The subway route is dangerous. If the trains stops between stations, do not go outside. Remain inside! Follow the instructions from the operators or the police."

(TL - BTW, wonderful link you posted - very appropo!)
 
Last edited:

Good twin

Floater
to EP and TL

Funny you two brought this up. Even though I spent over thirty years studying and practicing Scientology, I never considered myself much of an expert on the subject. I mean it's kind of a deep well. (more like a bottomless pit)

I was amazed when I got to ESMB and discovered that Zinj had such a complete grasp on Scientology theory after zero standard tech training. Being ex is such a humbling experience. Instead of "knowing how to know" I am now learning how to unknow.

I think the doc might be able to help us sort some things out. But it's hard to get her to stay long enough to keep the dialog going.

GT
 
Top